Last week I attended the American Society of Landscape Architect’s (ASLA) annual meeting in Washington D.C. It was invigorating to hear about promising green infrastructure related projects being plan and constructed across the United States. One favorite was Herbert Dreiseitl’s presentation on the promise of water. His approach and sensitivity to water was inspiring.
Many of the conference sessions reinforced the multiple benefits of green infrastructure projects and the importance of continuing to build the data supporting these benefits. In addition, it was clear that green infrastructure projects are addressing multiple political agendas and problems facing our cities. As a result, municipalities are able to seek funding from a variety of traditional and non-traditional sources. When considering these sources, it is critical to understand and quantify the benefits of a project.
While all green infrastructure projects have multiple benefits, depending on the approach, site, and its context, each project will have a unique combination and varying impact. Understanding this “benefit fingerprint” is helpful in successfully targeting funding sources. It also opens up the possibilities of non-traditional sources and helps others see the project with a broader perspective.